Leonid Derbenyov

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Leonid Derbenyov
Born Leonid Petrovich Derbenyov
April 12, 1931
Moscow, USSR
Died June 22, 1995 (age 64)
Moscow, Russia

Leonid Petrovich Derbenyov (Russian: Леони́д Петро́вич Дербенёв; IPA: [lʲɪɐˈnʲit pʲɪˈtrovʲɪtɕ dʲɪrbʲɪˈnʲɵf]; April 12, 1931 – June 22, 1995) a Russian poet and lyricist widely regarded as one of the stalwarts of the 20th century Soviet and Russian pop music.


Leonid Derbenyov was born on April 12, 1931 in Moscow. During the German-Soviet War he lived in the village of Ulovo, Vladimir Oblast. His first ever poem appeared in Pionerskaya Pravda; the author being a seventh-grade schoolboy at the time.[1]

Having graduated from the Moscow Law Academy in 1954, Leonid Derbenyov worked as a lawyer for various organizations, writing poetry. Some of his works were published in Komsomolskaya Pravda, Izvestia, Moskovskij Komsomolets and other periodicals.

Since 1959, Derbenyov, a highly prolific writer, created more than two thousand poems, hundreds of which have become song lyrics. Among the composers he worked with were Alexander Flyarkovsky, Arno Babajanian, Aleksandr Zatsepin, Maksim Dunayevsky, Vyacheslav Dobrynin.

Derbenyov's lyrics became hits for many Russian pop stars and rock groups, among them Muslim Magomayev ("The Best City on Earth"), Alla Pugacheva ("This World", "Song About Me", "Kings Can Do Anything", "You Are in the World", "White Door), Mikhail Boyarsky ("Everything Will End", "City Flowers", "Robinson", "I Will Take an Express Train"), Lev Leshchenko ("Native Land", "Goodbye"), Masha Rasputina ("Himalayas", "Me and You", "I was Born in Siberia", "Music Around", "You Are Not My First Love", "Live, Country!"), Philipp Kirkorov ("Atlantida", "You, You, You", "Sky and Earth"), VIA Vesyolye Rebyata ("If You Love", "Not a Minute's Rest", "Don't Worry, Auntie"), VIA Samotsvety ("All That is in My Life"), VIA Leysia Pesnia ("Where Have You Been?"), and VIA Zemlyane ("Believe, Earth").

Songs featuring Derbenyov's lyrics were also part of well-known soundtracks for a number of Russian hit films, including "There is But a Moment" from The Sannikov Land and "The Song about Bears" from Kidnapping, Caucasian Style.

In 1978 Derbenyov became an International Song Contest in Sopot' laureate. His songs won the annual "Song of the Year" competition in 1963, 1964, 1965 and 1973.

Leonid Derbenyov died on Thursday, June 22, 1995 in Moscow after battling stomach cancer and was buried at the Vostryakovskoye cemetery.

On Friday, November 22, 2002 a memorial sign bearing the name of Leonid Derbenyov was installed at the Square of Stars next to the concert hall Russia.


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